Friday, November 28, 2008

Foreclosure Consultants - Scam or Valuable Service?

UPDATE!!!!! June 15, 2009: New California Law Clamps Down on the Foreclosure Consultancy Defrauders !!!

Effective July 1, 2009, it will be unlawful for a foreclosure consultant, as defined in Civil Code Section 2945.1 to engage in the foreclosure consultant business unless it has registered with the Attorney General’s Office at: All foreclosure consultants operating in California must post a $100,000 bond and register with Attorney General’s Office by July 1, 2009 and submit the following information:

Name, address, and telephone number;
All names, addresses, telephone numbers, websites, and e-mail addresses used or proposed to be used in connection with their business;
Copies of all advertising;
Copies of each different contract the consultant will use with consumers; and
A copy of its $100,000 bond
For more information please visit:


From the California Department of Real Estate website:

Advance Fees and Loan Modification Services

If you are behind in your mortgage payments, you may be contacted by individuals or companies that will offer to help you work out a loan modification with your lender or provide other services to you in order to help you prevent a foreclosure on your home.

You must be very careful if you are asked to pay for any of these services in advance, whether in cash, check or by charging your credit card. First, California Civil Code Section 2945, which regulates "foreclosure consultants", forbids anyone who falls under the definition of a “foreclosure consultant”, as well as a real estate licensee, from collecting any advance fees for these types of services if a Notice of Default has been recorded against your property. If your lender has recorded a notice of default, do not pay an advance fee to anyone. There are non-profit agencies that can assist you without charging you a fee and real estate brokers who can represent you for a fee to be paid after they have completed their work. For information on non-profit housing counseling services, use the following links:

* Federal Housing Administration
* Hope Alliance Web site

If a Notice of Default has not been recorded against your property, it may be permissible for a real estate broker to assist you in working out a loan modification or otherwise negotiate a possible resolution to your problem with your lender or loan servicer and ask you for payment in advance for their services. However, the broker must have you sign an agreement that tells you what services will be performed, when they will be performed and how much you must pay. The broker cannot have you sign an agreement until it has been submitted to the Department of Real Estate for review and the broker has received permission to use it and collect the advance fee.

The following individual and corporate real estate brokers have submitted advance fee agreements for loan modification and/or similar services to the Department of Real Estate for review, and have received “no objection” letters regarding their use. CLICK HERE You can obtain information on brokers and their locations by clicking on the “License Number” on the attached list or call (916) 227-0770.

The Department of Real Estate does not approve, endorse, recommend or make any representations about any of the agreements or their terms, or any aspect of a licensee’s business activities. Consumers wishing to contract with a real estate broker for loan modification or any other similar or related services should carefully review the agreement(s) and consider obtaining independent advice before signing an agreement(s) or advancing any fees. Consumers should also consider comparing the services and fees offered by other licensed brokers on the list.

Note: Licensed real estate brokers who provide loan modification or similar services without collecting fees in advance are not required to receive the Department of Real Estate’s permission as long as their services are fully completed before you pay them.

The list is updated on a periodic basis and may not include those which have recently completed the review process.

Before you pay an advance fee to anyone for assisting you, first call the Department of Real Estate at (916) 227-0770 to find out if an advance fee agreement is on file.

California Mortgage Foreclosure Consulting Law

California Foreclosure Law

Without an attorney and the benefit of a "forensic loan audit" that may deliver legal leverage to compel a lender to make a loan modification, foreclosure "consulting" may be of dubious value.

The California State Bar Ethics Advisory On Loan Consulting

Being evicted after foreclosure? Tenant eviction law. State law in California gives you 60 days from foreclosure. Cities have additional laws that may assist you in staying longer, depending on your circumtances. Generally, it is just a matter of time if the new owner after foreclosure wont reach agreement to let you stay on.

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